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Used: Acceptable | Details
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: Publisher: Penguin
Date of Publication: 2007
Binding: trade paperback
Condition: Acceptable
Description: 9780141017136 Numerous, small pencil marks throughout the text, date stamped on the first page, and a prior owner's name stamped on the top edge of the book, but binding is square and secure, cover only modestly shelfworn around the corners and spine ends, otherwise clean and good. An acceptable reading or study copy.
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Shakespeare and Co: Christopher Marlowe Thomas Dekker Ben Jonjon Thomas Middleton Paperback – International Edition, September 25, 2007

11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, general editor of the Oxford and Penguin Shakespeares, and coeditor of The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare presents Shakespeare's professional context brilliantly. The curtain rises on boys dashing about London posting playbills. That is succeeded by engaging reviews of the rapid rise of theater under Elizabeth, the constituency of a typical London theater audience, and the modus operandi of what was very much an entertainment industry that included plenty of collaboration among playwrights to meet deadlines. The actor of the time in general, and the great stars of Shakespeare's company in particular, occupy the second chapter; Shakespeare's fellow dramatists, the succeeding six. Marlowe receives the most notice among Shakespeare's early peers, Jonson among the later ones. Chapters are organized around Dekker, Middleton, Fletcher, and Webster, too, because each collaborated with Shakespeare. Wells whets appetites for new performances of the plays he discusses most thoroughly, such as Marlowe's Jew of Malta, Dekker's Shoemaker's Holiday, and The Revenger's Tragedy, by, it now seems, Middleton--and Shakespeare. Essential Shakespeareana. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Praise from Great Britain:

“Fascinating… An enthralling work of popular scholarship.”
–Robert McCrum, The Observer

“Ingenious… [Shakespeare’s London] was a time and a place teeming with excitement, anecdote and incident, and Wells, in this richly enjoyable work, brings it to life with a novelist’s sense of the telling detail.”
–Dominic Dromgoole, The Sunday Times

“Comprehensive and colorful… This is illuminating, well-planned and suggestive work, not only for those readers who have little acquaintance with the subject, but also for those already familiar with it. One of the greatest gifts of this book… is to re-astonish readers with the simple fact of the newness of all this.”
–Min Wild, The Independent on Sunday

“A valuable contribution to popular Shakespeare scholarship… A feat of synthesis… Each page is dense with well-chosen information and sensible, sensitive interpretation.”
–Peter Wentworth, The Literary Times Supplement

“This collaborative Shakespeare makes a refreshing change from the autistic monarch of the stage… Wit its lightly worn learning and its refreshing argument, this is a rewarding and readable book. Anyone who wants to understand Shakespeare will learn from it.”
–Colin Burrow, Evening Standard
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin UK (September 25, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141017139
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141017136
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,217,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stanley Wells, described by Roy Hattersley as "Our greatest authority on Shakespeare's life and work," is Chairman of the Trustees of Shakespeare's Birthplace, Emeritus Professor of Shakespeare Studies of the University of Birmingham, and Honorary Emeritus Governor of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. He is the author and editor of many books including The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works, 2nd Edition (OUP 2005); The Oxford Dictionary of Shakespeare (OUP, 2003); and Shakespeare in the Theatre (OUP, 1997).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Terry A. Gray on July 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Stanley Wells is one of the great Shakespeare scholars of this, or any other, generation. His work on the Oxford edition of the Complete Works, the Textual Companion, the Dictionary of Shakespeare and, if I can mention a personal favorite, Shakespeare for All Time, assure his enduring reputation. It was with keen anticipation I picked up this book, then, and I was not disappointed. The book is not groundbreaking, by any means, but is pleasant, erudite, and consistently interesting. It is the best introduction I know to placing Shakespeare in the theatrical currents of his time and tracing his interactions, such as they can be known, with his less famous, though greatly gifted, contemporaries Marlowe, Jonson, Dekker, Middleton, Fletcher, Webster and the rest.

In an age such as ours where otherwise serious people can become preoccupied with crank, dilettantish ideas like the Oxford wrote Shakespeare nonsense so much in circulation, how likely is it those same serious people have taken the time to read Shakespeare's less well known fellows? They have, perhaps, read Dr. Faustus in an English lit survey class, and know about Marlowe because, after all, HE might, just maybe, be the one who really wrote at least some of Shakespeare's plays, but certainly they have not read either part of Tamburlaine, or A Trick To Catch The Old One, or The Shoemakers Holiday. Need enough, then, that a thoroughgoing, popular introduction to the lives and masterpieces of some of Shakespeare's contemporaries deserves a home on our bulging Shakespeare bookshelves.

The first sentence of the Preface says "This book attempts to place Shakespeare in relation to the actors and other writers, mainly playwrights, of his time in an accessible and where possible entertaining manner" (ix).
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By SBO on January 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book is excellent in establishing Shakespeare's context among the other playwrights of his time. I only wish the author had devoted as much time and energy to discussing the later writers (especially Middleton and Webster) as he did with the earlier chapters on Marlowe and Jonson. But for those who think Shakespeare was the only fellow writing plays at the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th centuries, this is a must-read. Hopefully, someone out there will now read the works of these lesser-known (but wonderful!) English Renaissance dramatists.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Paul R. Estridge on January 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This study of the circle of writers that made up the theatre world during Shakespeare's career provides both an excellent entry into the subject and also a refreshing reminder to students of the period of the diverse talent that surrounded and interacted with Shakespeare. I particularly enjoyed the opening chapter that gives us a sense of the theatre business in the Elizabethan/Jacobean period and a flesh and blood kind of context for the writers that subsequent chapters will illuminate. I found the study quite readable and well-paced, as well as useful to understanding and evaluating some of the more polemical studies of the period and its most prominent writer. The greatest attribute of the study may be that it makes one want to go back and read or re-read many of the works of Shakespeare's contemporaries.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert C. Seaver on October 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
It's entirely too easy when reading about Shakespeare to forget there were a lot of other guys writing at the same time as, and in competition with, him. These are the stories of some of those guys, the best of them, and reference is made to their relationship to Shakespeare right along, so it gives a nice feeling of knowing the context. This is not only about "the other players in his story", but also speaks of Shakespeare' less well known collaborations with some of them. It is well to have a Complete Works (Oxford, by my preference) of Will's works in hand while reading this book so you can follow some of the references.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrea Twain on January 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent read for those who love Shakespeare AND for those who want to know more about Shakespeare's contemporaries. Shakespeare was a mere mortal when he died, surrounded by contemporaries who were extremely talented. Jonson excelled at comedy, Marlowe at tragedy, some history, lots of gore. Some you may not have heard of, but all produced works worthy of praise heaped on Shakespeare. Shakespeare was exemplary in that he excelled in EVERYTHING--comedy, tragedy, history, long form poetry, sonnets...while each of these men specialized. This book will make you want to chase down Marlowe's plays as well as others.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Will and his pals could be another title for this interesting book. Centered in Sheakespere, this book presents an overview of the most prominent writers,actors and companies at that time, exploring the myriads of collaborations, intersections of strong collaborative work - the theatre. How it was managed, how plays were written and acted, how the audience reacted, all is touched. Certainly Shakespeare was the star, but rather the most brilliant and enduring star in a constellation of bright man.
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